About Bodmer's America Alecto Prints
Joslyn Art Museum collaborated with Alecto Historical Editions of London in 1990–91 to publish a new edition of Karl Bodmer's illustrations to Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied's Travels in the Interior of North America in the Years 1832–34. Alecto Historical Editions is renowned for its valued limited editions from the original plates of J. J. Audubon and Joseph Banks, the botanist who accompanied Capt. Cook on his voyage to Australia.
In 1832 Prince Maximilian of Wied, a German naturalist-explorer, and Karl Bodmer, a Swiss artist, embarked on a voyage of discovery to document the land and native peoples along the Upper Missouri River. In the context of American cultural history, their journey provided a remarkable opportunity, as it was undertaken just before the unspoiled West was to change irrevocably. Bodmer's depiction of the settlements visited, the extraordinary landscapes observed, and his portraits of Blackfeet, Crow, Cree, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Sioux Indians are acknowledged as one of the finest records of Indian life ever published.
Bodmer and Maximilian returned to Europe in 1834, where Bodmer spent several years supervising the engraving and printing of his images of the journey. They were published in Paris between 1839 and 1843 as Travels in the Interior of North America 1832–1834. In 1948 the printing plates from the project were discovered by an anthropologist at Castle Wied and ultimately found their way to the U.S. and into the collection of Joslyn Art Museum as part of the Maximilian-Bodmer Collection.
In 1990, Joslyn and Alecto collaborated to publish, for the first time since their rediscovery, a numbered edition of 125 prints from each of 81 original 1840s plates. In London, under the direction of Joslyn staff, each engraving was produced with extensive hand coloring à la poupée, heightened by gum arabic in the nineteenth-century manner.
Select Bodmer prints are available through Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop. For additional information, please call Joslyn's Retail and Guest Services Manager at (402) 661-3835.